Burn Injury Accidents and Classifications
Levels of Burn Injury Severity and Their Causes
Burns are identified depending on how severe the effects are on an individual’s skin. The degrees of burns include:
- First-degree. This has a red appearance that is both painful and dry. It primarily affects the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Generally, there is no long-term damage. You will experience noticeable redness in the beginning stages. Near the end of your recovery, it will fade away.
- Second-degree. This causes damage to the outer layer of your skin and the layer underneath (dermis). The appearance of the burn will appear bright red, swollen, and blistered.
- Deep partial-thickness burn. Leaves a scar on the skin, along with having your skin permanently change color.
- Third-degree. This primarily targets the nerve endings. It will destroy the epidermis and dermis. Third-degree burns could potentially impact the subcutaneous, which is the innermost layer of the skin. The burn will appear as a white, black, brown, or yellow shade.
- Fourth-degree. This causes the deepest and most severe burns. Fourth-degree burns may result in a life-threatening situation. All layers of your skin, including your muscles, bones, and tendons, will get destroyed.
Common Causes of Burns
- Chemical burn. Strong acids, detergents, solvents, paint thinner, gasoline, or drain cleaners can cause a burn once it gets into contact with your skin.
- Cold burn. May also be identified as frostbite. This freezes your skin if you are in an area with extremely cold temperatures.
- Thermal burn. This occurs when you get into contact with an extremely hot object (metals or liquids), which can cause your skin cells to die.
- Electrical burn. Encountering an electrical current will cause you to get this type of burn.
- Radiation burn. There are various factors that apply to this type of burn. Sunburns, x-rays, and radiation therapy for cancer treatment may cause radiation burns.
- Friction burn. This occurs when your skin is rubbing against a surface. Examples include getting a rope burn or a rug burn.
Examples of Burn Causes
Common areas where burn injuries may occur include:
- Road. Car accidents may result in a minor or massive explosion, depending on the severity of the accident. Fuel trucks involved in collisions are prone to trigger an explosion that will result in flames spreading across the road.
- Kitchen. Various scenarios may come about when an individual is in the kitchen. They could burn their hands while using the stove to make food. Hot liquid may also land on them when they are making food, such as soup or rice. The degree of a burn depends on the temperature of the hot liquid along with how strong the fire was set on the stove.
- Working environment. Employees may encounter high-temperature equipment that could cause a burn if contact is made with it.
- Faulty objects. Products that are defective can result in bursting flames or an explosion. An example could be cellphones not being manufactured properly, thus resulting in an explosion. This may cause the individual to face either moderate or severe burns depending on how strong the blast was.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award is known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact, were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
Limitations for Damages in California
For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.
However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses is $250,000.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you are a burn injury victim and need help getting legal advice, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced burn injury attorneys that will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.